Thomas Alexander Russell (Thomas Alexander Russell)

Thomas Alexander Russell

Automobile manufacturer. Inventor of one of the few truly Canadian cars. In 1905, as general manager of the Canadian Cycle and Motor Company (CCM), Russell introduced a model A, with a flat, two-cylinder gasoline engine. It had such advanced features as shaft drive, a sliding-gear transmission, and a column-mounted shift lever. Russell marketed the vehicle by calling it “The Thoroughly Canadian Car,” boasting that it was made with Canadian material, Canadian labour, and Canadian capital. He also orchestrated several outrageous publicity stunts, which included a race on a frozen lake with an ice yacht. Naturally, Russell’s car won. By 1913, emerging service problems with the car were generating bad press. CCM attempted to correct the problem but the damage was done. Production on the car stopped in 1916. Russell would leave CCM, going on to run Massey Harris for several years. (bio by: Patrick R)

Born

  • April, 17, 1877

Died

  • December, 12, 1940

Cemetery

  • Mount Pleasant Cemetery
  • Ontario
  • Canada

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